Ireland welcomes international students from many diverse backgrounds! Student Ambassador Chidiebere has taken his time settling in to life in Donegal, but has come to understand the country as a gateway to a bright future!
In sharing my story, I captioned it “a step in the right direction” which was drawn from unpleasant life experiences. This is in continuation of my previous blog. If you haven’t read my previous blog, I advise you to do so. Once again, my name is Chidiebere Somadina Ike, a Nigerian postgraduate student of Artificial Intelligence (by Research) at the Atlantic Technological University (formerly the Letterkenny Institute of Technology). I am inspired to encourage potential international students who are still contemplating Ireland as their study destination.
What I love about Atlantic Technological University (ATU).
The welfare and success of the student are of paramount importance to the University. ATU foster a collaborative learning atmosphere that ensures that no student feels isolated or unsupported at any time during their studies. Information dissemination to students is top-notch to keep students in the loop of activities and events around campus. Most importantly, their clear understanding of academic and personal difficulties faced by students as it related to mental health, and as well as walk you through to make it better. A healthy balance of academics and extracurricular activities is key to a successful university experience. ATU isn’t left out of these, with loads of events, end-of-semester trips, and other fun activities, the experience is unexplainable. Furthermore, there is no better way of nurturing future industrial leaders than bringing them face to face with their prospective employers via events and career talks. These were rare experiences for me. Thanks to ATU career service, International Office, International societies, etc.
Aside from having a flourishing academic life, my then social life wasn’t that great and could hamper smooth integration and transition into Irish society. With a clear view of the guaranteed hospitality of the Irish people, welcoming charm, and the environment, it dawns on me that it was about time to creep out of my shell. The environment presented me with the volunteering opportunity as a steward and leader at Christmas Collections and the recent St Patrick’s Day Festival as well as taking part in various community cleanups with the Letterkenny Tidy Towns. These volunteer roles have impacted me positively while delivering continuous services to the local community.
As the saying goes, “a lot of good can come out of mistakes or rejections,”. I had lost hope for further studies abroad after several visa denials to study in USA and Canada. These feelings passed and birthed my decision for Ireland as a study destination. In line with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a fresh breath of a new life coursed in my vein, and I am gradually shifting to reach the full realisation of my hidden potential aimed at a life-changing experience in Ireland.
In conclusion, Ireland is the home of self-actualisation endowed with opportunities for all. Without any bells and whistles, welcome to Ireland “the gateways of a bright future”.
Chidiebere is studying Artificial Intelligence (by Research) at the Atlantic Technological University.